As more information becomes available on the proposed redevelopment of the Royal Far West site opposite Manly Beach at South Steyne, the local community is becoming alarmed by the bulk and size of the proposed $229m development on this iconic site. A new group called Save Manly Village, has been formed to fight what has become the largest development proposal in Manly for 20 years.
The plans include:
• 9 storey hotel building towering over Manly’s iconic beach
• 8 storey building overshadowing the Manly Village Public School and dominating Rialto Square in Wentworth St.
• Complex of shops, restaurants, apartments and a 165 room hotel
* A new facility for the Royal Far West (which represents less than 30% of the total floor area of the site)
While locals stress they are not against the Royal Far West, nor the wonderful work they do, there is a sense of betrayal. The excessive commercial development plans, which were lodged without any consultation with the community nor Manly Council, are completely out of context for this site which is bounded by South Steyne, Wentworth Street and Victoria Ave.
While there is general agreement that the buildings owned by the Royal Far West are in need of replacement, (except for historic Drummond House which is to be retained), questions are being asked as to why the NSW government has agreed to two parcels of Department of Education land within the site, to be incorporated into the development with no apparent negotiation made to provide additional space for the Manly Village School next door. The school, which is busting at the seams, has grown from 200 pupils to more than 600 students in recent times and this is expected to continue to grow.
The development has been lodged as a Part A Application with the Department of Planning and a decision is expected to be made by the Planning Assessment Commission in February 2013.
In the meantime, locals are being encouraged to lodge their concerns by:
· Writing to Brad Hazzard, Minister for Planning - firstname.lastname@example.org
· Writing to our Local Member, Mike Baird - email@example.com
· Writing to the Manly Daily – firstname.lastname@example.org
· Letting others know how Manly is under threat
· 'Liking' the Save Manly Village Facebook page - www.facebook.com/savemanlyvillage
A public meeting will be called by the Planning Assessment Commission. Date to be advised but expected to be in February 2013.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.